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Showing posts from April 26, 2017
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TapClicks buys Raven Tools

TapClicks’ reporting and analytics platform, geared toward mid-sized and enterprise agencies and media companies, gathers data from over 175 marketing and ad tools.Raven Tools’ platform, targeted at small to mid-sized businesses, provides marketing reports from over 20 platforms, like Google Analytics, Bing Ads, Twitter and Facebook. It also supports engine optimization and offers Site Auditor, for auditing websites’ search engine readiness.Today, the companies announced that TapClicks has acquired Raven Tools, thus providing a marketing reports platform for any business size. Deal terms were not made public.Combined, the companies say they now have the largest customer base for a marketing reports platform, combining info from multiple vendors and serving customers in over 70 countries with tens of thousands of monthly reports.TapClicks Founder and CEO Babak Hedayati — who fled Iran as a child and settled in Silicon Valley — told me that a typical TapClicks customer might be a market…

The connected audience: Content and creative needs for each stage of the customer journey

To optimize marketing productivity and improve credibility, brands must further develop each aspect of their digital marketing. With a connected marketing approach, it is critical to sync the brand, audience and channels. This means making sure marketing tactics and brand messaging are consistent across all channels and audiences, creating a memorable and effective experience throughout the consumer journey.Last month, I talked about the connected brand. This month, in the second installment of this series, I’ll dive into the connected audience. In order to make a lasting impact with your prospective customers, you must know what their needs are across each stage of their journey.Audience keyword insightsKeywords allow brands to better understand the types of users they’re speaking to and what queries most resonate with them. To clearly define an audience, effective keyword research is imperative for marketing professionals. It can lead to insights that help brands connect with audien…

Content and links: It really does take a village

I’m one of those people who thinks I can usually handle things by myself — I don’t need or want anyone’s help. It’s been tough for me to let go of that attitude when it comes to link building, but I’ve been doing much better lately after realizing that it really is beneficial to have more involvement from various people.Sometimes that extra involvement has been kind of forced on me. Sometimes I’ve had to beg for it. But all in all, I’ve slowly come to the conclusion that the best links we get these days come from working together with the client, their own internal teams and webmasters.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via Marketing Land

Facebook Spaces & the risky virtualization of retail

During Facebook’s annual F8 conference — which had to happen seven times before I decided “F8” was a play on “fate,” despite Wikipedia telling me it’s pronounced “eff eight” — Facebook showcased a potentially virtual future.Facebook Spaces is an attempt by Facebook to create social spaces that are built entirely within virtual reality. Visit places with your friends, virtually. Talk in exotic settings. Organize the next family reunion on the top of Mount Everest. This is one of the ways the social network is trying to leverage the $2 billion purchase of virtual reality company Oculus Rift.Right now, while you can create an avatar and travel into the world of Facebook Spaces, there is only limited functionality. You can use a virtual selfie stick to take a virtual photo with your virtual friends. You can sketch objects. You can take a tour of different environments. Other than that, it’s pretty much a chat room.But it made me start to think about how virtual reality could impact the re…

Evaluating PPC talent, part 1: Where to begin

The simple truth is that anyone working in any paid media field (like search or social) is incredibly hard to evaluate from the outside. Apart from looking at their current employment status, where do you even start? Finding strong PPC talent is challenging, especially if your business is new to paid advertising and has nobody in-house with the technical expertise to validate a candidate’s knowledge.In this article, I am going to discuss where to begin when looking for PPC talent. It’s simply not enough to hire someone who has a certain number of years of experience — unfortunately, there isn’t a direct correlation between years and expertise when it comes to paid media. So what should you be thinking about (and doing) to make sure you hire the right person for you?First, does it even make sense to hire?This should really be your first question. If you’re not able to invest a minimum of $20,000 per month in advertising, it likely doesn’t make sense to have a full-time PPC manager. You…

IAB: Mobile is now more than half of all digital ad revenues

Mobile is now the dominant vehicle for digital ad spend.Mobile ad revenues jumped 77 percent year over year in 2016 to account for more than half (51 percent) of all digital ad revenues for the first time, according to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for Q4 and FY 2016. In Q4, mobile ad revenues drove 53 percent of all digital revenue.For the year, total US digital ad revenues rose to $72.5 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from $59.6 billion. Mobile was the key growth driver across all digital formats, including search, banner, video, social, and even digital audio, which the report broke out for the first time. Digital’s compound annual growth rate has been rising more dramatically, also thanks to mobile. Mobile CAGR is up 87 percent since 2011, while desktop has increased 8 percent.In Q4, digital ad revenues rose 24 percent to $21.6 billion, up from $17.4 in Q4 2015. The QoQ growth seen from the third quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter was the biggest percentage increas…

Google’s ‘Project Owl’ — a three-pronged attack on fake news & problematic content

Google knows it has a search quality problem. It’s been plagued since November with concerns about fake news, disturbing answers and offensive search suggestions appearing at the top of its results. “Project Owl” is an effort by the company to address these issues, with three specific actions being announced today.In particular, Google is launching:a new feedback form for search suggestions, plus formal policies about why suggestions might be removed.a new feedback form for “Featured Snippets” answers.a new emphasis on authoritative content to improve search quality.We’ll get into the particulars of each of those items below, as well as some background on the issue they aim to fix.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via Marketing Land

Local search update: ‘Best’ filter invading the local pack

Google seems to be making moves to use the quality of small businesses — as determined by user ratings and reviews — as a ranking factor.Today, the search giant has begun incorporating the quality element directly into the snack pack’s interface for some local searches (Hat tip: Dave DiGregorio). Note below on the search for “best Atlanta personal injury Lawyer”:The functional filter appears ubiquitously for queries with the word “best” and other such superlatives. “Awesome,” “outstanding” and “great” all trigger the filter, although “stupendous,” “kick-a**” and “supreme” didn’t.  Note that even without a qualitative element in the queries, the filter still shows, though it’s not prefiltered for 4.0-star and higher rated businesses, and it appears in gray rather than in red:I’ve suspected that Google has been looking to increase the focus on the qualitative element of local search results based on things that have been showing up, and have been talked about, in the industry where I wo…

Fohr Card launches a service to identify bots that follow Instagram influencers

Fohr Card is releasing this week a new tool that it says can accurately determine which followers of Instagram influencers are bots — and then clients’ fees to the platform are reduced proportionately.The New York City-based company says it is the only one to charge brands for the activity of verified human followers on Instagram, and not for bots. On average, Fohr Card found that 7.8 percent of the followers of its Instagram influencers are fake.Some of the follower accounts identified as being fake are Toptop637136, Freeiphone7_give_away, Ba3516, and these two:[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

Be a mad scientist to be more successful in local SEO

With my recaps of the Local SEO sessions at SMX West last month, we had a bit of a break from Greg’s Soapbox. Never fear, it’s back in full force this month!I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend several large conferences over the last few months, and I have been a part of many discussions about what really works for local SEO. It seems that most people fall into one of two camps, and there’s a growing debate between the two.On one side, we have people who hold the annual Local Search Ranking Factors (LSRF) survey, now run by Darren Shaw at Whitespark, as gospel. On the other, you have the anti-LSRF group, who think that the LSRF study is opinion-based poppycock (yes, someone actually called it “poppycock”). This side favors the insights gleaned from Andrew Shotland and Dan Leibson’s massive study of local ranking factors, in which they attempted to reverse-engineer Google’s local algorithm.In many cases, but not all, the results of the study align with those of the …

What marketers should know about Twitter’s Q1 2017 earnings

Audience growth is no longer a problem for Twitter. That’s great, especially since Twitter has plenty of new problems.In the first quarter of 2017, Twitter’s overall revenue declined year over year for the first time ever, and its advertising revenue declined for the second straight quarter. That’s bad, right? Apparently not to Wall Street investors. Despite the revenue declines, Twitter’s stock price was up by more than 10 percent after the company released its quarterly earnings report on Wednesday.What gives?For starters, Wall Street analysts expected Twitter to have a really bad quarter, revenue-wise. Twitter beat those low expectations. Twitter also showed that it has overcome the audience growth struggles that have plagued the company for the past few years.In Q1 2016, Twitter’s year-over-year growth in both monthly audience and daily audience accelerated for the fourth straight quarter. The number of people checking Twitter each month increased by 6 percent year over year to 32…

6 roles you need on your marketing team + 2 you probably haven’t considered

In 2017, digital marketing is no longer an afterthought. Digital is a critical part of almost every company’s marketing strategy regardless of industry. The question businesses are now struggling with is: Which roles (or what people) do I need on my team to be successful?In this piece, we are going to outline the roles needed within a digital marketing team, as well as two roles your team is probably missing and why you need them.Role 1: VP of MarketingThe VP of Marketing is the coach. This is an essential role that (depending on the size of your team and expertise) an owner could take on or that you can hire. This person is responsible for managing budgets and communicating the value of the marketing team’s efforts to management.Some of the most successful marketing teams have a founder or a VP of Marketing who takes on a brand evangelist role as well.To help get the juices flowing, I have outlined some of the core tasks a VP of Marketing can tackle:Set weekly marketing quotas and KP…

How to identify and fix indexation bloat issues

Indexation bloat is when a website has pages within a search engine “index” and can cause issues if not monitored and policed properly.It is an extremely common SEO problem and affects all websites, ranging from small WordPress blogs to big Hybris and Magento ecommerce websites.The more serious cases of indexation bloat usually occur on ecommerce websites, as they tend to utilize user-friendly facetted navigations and filter lists, allowing users to quickly identify the products that they want.I’ve seen examples first hand of simple Demandware and Open Cart websites with only a few hundred products having millions of URLs appear in Google’s index because of the product filters generating URLs.Why is indexation bloat a problem?It’s a known fact that when Google and the other search engines crawl your website, they don’t crawl your website in its entirety. Allowing and asking them to crawl unnecessary URLs wastes this resource.If search engines aren’t regularly crawling your “money” pag…

With 80M members, Amazon Prime will generate $104B in topline revenue

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimated on Monday that Amazon now has roughly 80 million US Prime members. That’s up from an estimated 65 million last October and 58 million a year ago.CIRP says that 60 percent of Amazon customers are now Prime members, each spending an average of $1,300 per year. By comparison, non-Prime Amazon shoppers spend roughly $700 per year, according to the firm.US Amazon Prime Members (in millions)
CIRP reports that 26 percent of Amazon Prime members pay monthly for their memberships instead of annually. Retention is estimated to be 85 percent for Prime members, after the first year.If the above figures are accurate, Amazon Prime members will generate $104 billion in top-line revenues (not profit) for Amazon on an annualized basis. In contrast, non-Prime members will drive $37 billion in revenue for the company.It’s remarkable how successful Prime has been for Amazon — on multiple fronts. Because of the shipping cost advantages and other priv…

Twitter’s total revenue shrinks for the first time as ad revenue decline steepens

Twitter released its first-quarter earnings results on Wednesday morning. Here’s a quick rundown of how the social network’s business is doing. Tl;dr version: Twitter’s audience size problem has faded, but its money problems have grown.Twitter’s total revenue is no longer growing
Twitter’s old money problem was that it had never turned a profit. Then its ad revenue started to shrink. Now its total revenue is shrinking too, and Twitter has three money problems. In Q1 2017, Twitter’s total revenue shrunk for the first time, dropping by 8 percent year-over-year to $548.3 million. And its ad revenue shrunk for the second straight quarter but at a steeper clip, dropping by 11 percent year-over-year to $473.8 million. And yes, the company recorded another net loss, this time of $61.6 million.Twitter’s ad revenue continues to shrink and at a steeper clip
Twitter’s year-over-year advertising revenue growth peaked at 129 percent in Q2 2014 and has been on a slowdown ever since. In Q1 2017, it …

Google expands AdSense hate speech policy, launches page-level ad removal capabilities

Google is expanding the scope of AdSense’s hate-speech policy and also announcing a more granular approach to dealing with content online that violates the policy.Today’s updates come on the heels of announcements last month that Google would launch more brand safety controls to placate advertisers that stopped some advertising when their ads showed up next to extremist and inappropriate content.In addition to updating the wording of its so-called hate-speech policy, Google says the new policy can now be applied at a page level, instead of the site level. It’s a key change for the more than two million AdSense publishers that of course also minimizes the impact of a broader policy on Google’s own bottom line.As we’ve previously reported, many sites — including the kinds of hyper-partisan political sites that proliferated and grew in popularity in the US over the past year — have become skilled in walking right up to the line of Google’s hate speech policy without violating it. Rick Su…

Attention Bloggers! This Is How To Write Attention Grabbing Headlines

If you ask any experienced copywriter, they will tell you that your headline is a critical aspect of your copy. It determines the success or the failure of your overall piece.David Ogilvy put it right when he said that:“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.”You need to understand that the post title you choose for your copy is just like a newspaper headline. It either grabs attention or it doesn’t, and I’m sure you want your headline to attract as many people as possible.You might be wondering: Why do I keep publishing articles that no one reads? This is especially confusing when most of the other articles on the internet are much worse than yours, but those articles are still getting all the shares, mentions, and comments.Well, I want to tell you that it’s not your article. The problem is that your headline is not inviting and enticing enough to make people read the article.In simple language:Your headline sucks.So what’s the solution to t…

Review: Blogo Desktop Editor For Mac

When I moved from Windows to Mac, one of the pieces of software I missed the most was Windows Live Writer.Having the power to write on my desktop (offline) and then to directly publish from there was something I found to be very productive.In the past, I have shared a few apps that are good desktop editors for Mac, but until now nothing was close to what Windows Live Writer offered.Recently a popular Mac desktop blog editor, an app known as “Blogo“, was completely revamped, and the fully loaded version of the app launched.  This neat app allows you to blog right from your Mac desktop.In this article I will be sharing a review of Blogo, as well as instructions on how you can set it up for your WordPress blog.If you have not yet downloaded Blogo, you can get it from the App Store over here. If you enjoy writing offline on your desktop, and you’re looking for the ability to publish directly from your Mac OS, Blogo is the best solution for you.Here are some more features of Blogo that mad…

Take a deep dive on search and social. Attend a workshop at SMX Advanced.

SMX Advanced pre-conference workshops are conducted by the world’s leading subject matter experts in SEO, SEM, social and digital. All workshops will be held on Monday, June 12 at the Bell Harbor Convention Center in Seattle.You’ll pick one workshop for a full day of actionable tactics you can use to improve your campaigns right away! Keep reading for workshop previews.
Each workshop provides:In-depth instruction from respected search and social media marketing leaders;Intimate learning and networking experience with like-minded professionals;Actionable takeaways that you’ll put to use immediately.BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Advanced AdWords Training with Brad Geddes: AdWords is at the core of many companies’ digital campaigns. Inefficient PPC campaigns can have a drastic impact on your bottom line. This intensive AdWords course will teach you best practices and advanced concepts and strategies that are based upon a decade of research and testing. Learn more.Mastering Social Media Adverti…